The Associated Press
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PARIS –
A Paris court on Monday found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influencing peddling and sentenced him to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence

The 66-year-old politician, who served as president from 2007 to 2012, was convicted of trying in 2014 to illegally obtain information from a high-ranking judge about a legal lawsuit in which he was involved

The court said Sarkozy was entitled to apply for detention at home using an electronic wristband

This marks the first time in modern French history that a former president has been convicted of corruption

Sarkozy’s co-defendants – his lawyer and longtime friend Thierry Herzog, 65 and the now retired judge Gilbert Azibert, 74 – were also found guilty and sentenced to the same verdict as the politician

The court found that Sarkozy and his co-defendants sealed a “corruption pact” based on “consistent and serious evidence”

The court said the facts were “particularly serious” as they were committed by a former president who used his status to assist a judge who had served his personal interest. In addition, as a trained attorney, he was “perfectly informed” about the commission of an illegal act, said the court

Sarkozy had firmly denied all allegations against him during the 10-day trial late last year

At that time, investigating magistrates had opened an investigation into the financing of the 2007 presidential campaign. During the investigation, by the way, they discovered that Sarkozy and Herzog were communicating via secret cell phones registered under the pseudonym “Paul Bismuth” “

Conversations overheard on these telephones led prosecutors to suspect Sarkozy and Herzog of promising Azibert a job in Monaco in order to obtain information about another legal battle going on by the name of the richest woman in France, the heiress of L’Oreal, Liliane Bettencourt, is known

In one of those phone conversations with Herzog, Sarkozy said of Azibert: “I’ll get him to move up, I’ll help him”

In another case, Duke reminded Sarkozy to say a word for Azibert while on a trip to Monaco

Legal proceedings against Sarkozy were dropped in the Bettencourt case. Azibert never got the job in Monaco

However, the prosecutor has come to the conclusion that the “clearly stated promise” in itself constitutes a corruption offense under French law, even if the promise has not been fulfilled

He told the court that his political life is about “giving the people a little help” that is all, a little help, “he said during the trial

The confidentiality of communication between a lawyer and his client was a major issue in the process

“You have a man in front of you, of whom more than 3700 private conversations were tapped What did I do to deserve this? “Sarkozy said during the trial

Sarkozy’s defense attorney, Jacqueline Laffont, argued that the entire case was based on “small talk” between a lawyer and his client

The court concluded that wiretapped conversations can be used as long as they help provide evidence of corruption crimes

Sarkozy retired from active politics after not being selected as his Conservative Party’s presidential candidate for Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 French election

However, he remains very popular with right-wing voters and plays an important role behind the scenes, including maintaining a relationship with Macron, whom he is supposed to advise on specific issues. His memoir “The Time of Storms”, published last year, was a bestseller for weeks

Sarkozy will be tried again later this month along with 13 other people for illegally funding his 2012 presidential campaign

His Conservative party is suspected of having spent 428 million euros7 million), almost double the maximum approved, to fund the campaign that ended in a victory for socialist rival Francois Hollande

In another investigation that opened in 2013, Sarkozy is charged with stealing millions from then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi to illegally fund his 2007 campaign

Received preliminary charges of passive corruption, illegal campaign funding, concealment of stolen assets from Libya and criminal organization He has denied wrongdoing

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) arrives on Jan. According to the prosecutor, Sarkozy promised the judge a plush job in Monaco in exchange for inside information on a separate investigation into claims he accepted from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt during his 2007 presidential campaign Although not the first modern French head of state in the dock, Sarkozy is the first to face corruption allegations (AFP)

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Sarkozy, Nicolas Sarkozy

World News – CA – France’s Sarkozy convicted of corruption, sentenced to prison

Source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/france-s-sarkozy-convicted-of-corruption-sentenced-to-jail-1.5328292